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Staging and risk stratification of thyroid cancer improved with SPECT/CT
Date:5/3/2012

Reston, Va. (May 3, 2012) The use of single positron emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) has been reported to change clinical management in a significant number of thyroid cancer patients according to research presented in the May issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Information obtained from these scans not only helps determine the need for radioiodine therapy or alterative options, but also impacts the long-term follow-up strategy.

"In this article I aimed to highlight the role of radioiodine imaging in risk stratification of patients with thyroid cancer and to assess the contribution it brings to the completion of staging and the decision to omit or proceed with I-131 therapy," said Anca M. Avram, MD, author of "Radioiodine Scintigraphy with SPECT/CT: An Important Diagnostic Tool for Thyroid Cancer Staging and Risk Stratification." She continued, "The new technology of SPECT/CT has substantially improved the interpretation of planar studies and can be implemented in the post-operative management protocols of thyroid cancer patients."

SPECT/CT has commonly been used for imaging thyroid cancer patients after radioiodine therapy, with the advantages of substantially reducing the number of equivocal foci seen on planar imaging alone, determining lymph nodal status more accurately than planar imaging and improving anatomical localization of activity foci seen on planar imaging. Studies cited in the article report on the high diagnostic value of radioiodine SPECT/CT, resulting in changes in risk stratification and clinical management in a substantial number of patients (ranging between 25 47 percent of patients).

More recently, SPECT/CT has been utilized prior to radioiodine therapy to better identify and characterize focal activity seen on planar scans for differentiating between metastatic lesions and benign uptake in residual thyroid tissue or normal organs. Information acquired with pre-ablat
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Contact: Susan Martonik
smartonik@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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